Our Approach To Martial Arts Education
We are under no illusions, but are well aware that many exist. Our no-nonsense, proven, honest approach to training & education developed naturally from our refusal to participate in the three common illusions within the martial arts world. Let’s examine them each in turn:
The first illusion is martial sports marketed as self-defence courses or authentic martial arts. Violence is absolutely not a game, but with adherence to tournament rules and agreed safety conventions, the tools of violence can, and are used to create very entertaining sporting competitions.
Now these are fun, tough games. They are not easy to play, and they ask a lot of the contestants, physically & mentally. Such contests have always been part of human society, and if you desire to test yourself relatively safely there is no better way.
Understand though that real violence is usually unfair, with constantly shifting rules, no time-limits, and no referees to stop the fight. Sports can indoctrinate you to achieve success within a particular set of rules, forgetting that outside the ring your opponent is not playing the same game, and is not constrained by the same limitations that you may now take for granted.
The second illusion is the kids fantasy of the all-powerful ‘Black-Belt’ holder. Good prevailing over evil is an extremely common theme in children’s entertainment, and so any self-respecting hero is naturally capable of fighting off an army of bad guys. Thus, little Johnny or Suzie identifies with the high-kicking role-model and pesters Mum & Dad to enrol them in the local ‘Martial Arts Academy’, or ‘School Of Excellence’.
On arrival, parents discover whole organisations devoted to feeding & fulfilling their child’s fantasy, complete with uniforms, achievement badges, and subtle multi-point marketing. There are ‘black-belt clubs’, ‘leadership programmes’, and ‘masters programmes’ to sign-up for (at ever-increasing cost) and even special ‘anti-bullying’ or ‘anti-weapons’ programmes (using foam sticks & rubber knives, unbelievably) which prey on the justifiable fears of every responsible parent.
Some kids classes offer exactly what they should, however the vast majority of such organisations sell kids entertainment, circus skills and physical theatrics – which is all well & good – but realise that such things sell far better when marketed under the banner of self-defence, discipline, anti-bullying, personal empowerment and obtaining the coveted black-belt of a ‘traditional’ martial art.
The third illusion is an unquestioning belief in tradition, as if nobody in the modern world is permitted to question things they have been shown and maybe even develop better, more relevant answers for themselves. Some people seem to believe that if you didn’t receive your knowledge from an ancient monk on a misty mountain, you’ve not discovered the ‘secrets’ of the martial arts.
It’s your life. If you choose to spend your time recreating a fiction of the past, or somebody else’s interpretation of it, that’s entirely your prerogative. Have fun.
Everything changes, including culture, law, environment and knowledge, and thus the heresy of today becomes the doctrine of tomorrow. Rote adherence to lineages, mottos, techniques and misunderstood traditions perpetuates a culture of blind obedience to the perceived wisdom of others.
This state of affairs is absolutely to be avoided in proper martial arts, as you must learn to make decisions for yourself and take responsibility for the outcome. The only way to ensure the truth of what you’ve been told is to question your knowledge, test it, refine it and ultimately discover things for yourself.
Thus, all the martial art systems offered by the UKKFF were developed without recourse to these, and other common illusions. Empirical knowledge, constant testing and logical analysis led us to where we are today, and we will keep on developing & updating until we cease to draw breath.